Blog 14 August 8, 2014
Probably everyone on the planet has heard the news that LeBron James has come back to Cleveland to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. To say that northeast Ohio is overwhelmed with happiness to have him back is an understatement! The enthusiasm for his return, and the classy way in which he handled it, have once again returned him to hometown hero status. Not to mention that Clevelanders, loyal and dogged sports fans that they are, are hoping that maybe, finally, Cleveland will be able to win a national title and break the Cleveland sports jinx.
The Cleveland Cavaliers play at the Quicken Loans Arena, colloquially known at the “Q” to native Clevelanders. And although the ADA has made it clear about accommodations for those with disabilities in public venues like the Q, there has still been some foot-dragging about providing even the most basic accommodations to sports fans with disabilities. Like the college sports franchises, big league teams don’t seem too anxious to do more than they have to in order to make sporting events accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
That is, of course, until the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Ohio, got into the picture in 2012. After some investigation, an agreement was reached between the Q and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to institute changes to the provision of accommodations for patrons with disabilities. These included:
Commitment to continued wheelchair accessibility
Captioning on the scoreboards and video monitors at Quicken Loans Arena to provide deaf patrons with equal access to all of the aural information provided over the public address system
Modification of websites to ensure that blind individuals using screen reader software are provided equal access to the same information
Modification of policies to ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided accessible seating optionsTraining its ticketing staff to ensure that all people with disabilities are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner and afforded the same service and courtesy afforded any customer.
You can read the full article here: http://www.justice.gov/usao/ohn/news/2012/13deccavs.html
Now, all Cleveland basketball fans can enjoy the Cavaliers’ games knowing they have full and total access to the same services regardless of disability status. For those with disabilities, it only takes one person to start the ball rolling. If you recognize some of these problems at your sports venues, make sure your voice is heard by letting management know what needs to be changed.
So, let’s play basketball, and go Cleveland Cavaliers!